ONLINE HERBAL IMMERSION PROGRAM
Have you ever felt confused trying to grow your own herb garden?
Or wondered which herbal preparation will be the most potent?
I understand how hard it is to navigate the deluge of herbal information out there, and find a resource you can trust.
With over thirty years under my belt growing herbs, making medicine, and teaching about plants, I've come up with a program that is chock-full of expert guidance for cultivating medicinal herbs and addressing common ailments at home with your very own tinctures, syrups, poultices and salves.
Bonus: You’ll be learning all about herbs while you save money—growing the garden of your dreams and whipping up a homegrown medicine chest full of the highest quality remedies to be found!
Green Mastermind at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine
Watch Our Video About the Herbal Immersion Program!
Herbal Immersion Program Outline (1,000 hours)
Foundations in Herbalism
Cultivating Relationships with Healing Plants • Introduction to Botany • Plant Families • Vegetative and Floral Terms • Herbal Actions • Ethical Wildcrafting • Spring Plant Walk • Medicinal Preparations • Harvesting Herbs • Edible Flowers
Herbal Safety: Introduction • Herbal Safety: Essential Oils and Allergic and Topical Reactions • Herbal Safety: Adulteration, Contamination, and Notable Constituents • Herbal Safety: Herb-Drug Interactions • Herbal Safety: Pregnancy and Lactation • Herbal Safety: Serious Health Conditions and Concerns
Herbalism in Action
Identity and Personal, Community, and Cultural Health • Identity Concepts: Some Definitions & Parameters • Introduction to Health Disparities • Health Disparities: The Framework • Health Disparities: Root Causes and Outcomes • Strategies to Help Healers and Health Care Workers Combat Disparities • Mutual Aid and Community Care • Herbal Accessibility: Uniting Culture and Community Gardens • Professionalism and Ethics: Relationships, Reputation, Accountability, Attribution, Plagiarism, Confidentiality • Energetic Plant Medicine
North American Herbal History and Traditions
Connecting With Your Own Herbal Lineage & Honoring Other Traditions • Introduction • A History of European & North American Colonial Herbal Medicine • A History of Native American Herbal Medicine • A History of Black Herbal Medicine from Africa to North America • A History of Latin American Influences on Herbal Medicine in North America • Black Herbal Elders with Lucretia Van Dyke
The Nitty-Gritty of Soil, Part 1
Principles of Organic Gardening • Planning Your Dream Garden • Adaptations for Garden Accessibility • Growing Healthy Soil • Building Soil Fertility • Botanical Garden Allies • Creating New Garden Beds • Container Gardening
Common Useful Garden Weeds
Daylily • Lamb’s Quarters • Chickweed • Dandelion • Violet • Purple Dead Nettle • Cleavers • Creasy Greens • Garlic Mustard • Yellow Dock • Japanese Honeysuckle
Special Strategies for Germinating Herbs: Stratification, Scarification, and Light-Dependent Germination • Preparing Seed Trays • Sowing Seeds • Soil Blocks • Bottom Heat • Root Division • Stem Cuttings • Layering • Seed Saving of Medicinal Herbs
Tonic Herbs and Adaptogens
Introduction to Adaptogens, Alteratives and Tonic Herbs • Gotu Kola • Tulsi • Nettles • Milky Oats • Astragalus • Ginseng • Hibiscus
The Nitty-Gritty of Soil, Part 2
Introduction to Permaculture • Building a Compost Pile • Composting Leaf Mold • Organic Pest and Disease Management • Season Extension • Woodland Cultivation of Medicinal Herbs • Homemade Potting Soil
Herbs for the Immune System
Introduction to Immune Stimulants, Immunomodulators and Antimicrobials • Spilanthes • Echinacea • Goldenseal • Bee Balm and Wild Bergamot • Calendula • Boneset • Elderberry
Introduction to the Digestive System
Bitters, Astringents and Carminatives • Foundations of Nutrition: Whole Foods, Organic Foods and GMOs • Macronutrients, Fiber, and Intestinal Flora • Vitamins and Minerals • Bioflavonoids • Food Allergies and Intolerances
Herbs for the Digestive System
Anise Hyssop • Meadowsweet • Fennel • Mint • Chamomile • Lemon Balm • Basil
Herbs for the Respiratory System
Introduction to Expectorants, Demulcents and Anticatarrhals • Elecampane • Mullein • Marshmallow • Yarrow • Goldenrod
Herbs for the Nervous System
Introduction to Nervines, Hypnotics, Anxiolytics, Antidepressants and Analgesics • Valerian • Skullcap • Passionflower • California Poppy • Mimosa • Rose • Vervain
Herbs for the Ovarian Generative System
Uterine Tonics, Emmenagogues, Hormone Balancers and Uterine Antispasmodics • Ecology of Estrogen in the Body • Red Raspberry and Blackberry • Black Cohosh • Vitex • Motherwort
Herbs for the Testicular Generative System
TCM Terms, Anatomy, and Patterns • 5 Plants for the Testicular Generative System • Herbs, Foods, and Conditions
Medicine Making - Core Preparations
Infusions and Decoctions • Tinctures • Herbal Honeys and Syrups • Herbal Vinegars • Flower Essences
Food as Medicine
Meads • Culinary Oils • Infused Vinegars • Fire Ciders: Spicy Vinegars • Goo Balls • Compound Butters • Herbal Finishing Salts • Herbal Sauces • Wild Herbal Pestos, Hummus, and Pâté • Medicinal Mushroom Concoction • Herbal Popsicles, Iced Teas, and Granitas • Bone Broth • Bitters • Shrubs • Herbal Ice Cubes • Simple Syrups • Cocktails and Mocktails
Topical Preparations and Natural Body Care
Infused Oils and Salves • Compresses, Poultices, and Herbal First Aid • Introduction to Hydrotherapy • Introduction to Aromatherapy • Floral Skin Serum • Body Butters • Salt Scrubs • Bath Salts • Aromatherapy Sprays • Aromatic Massage Oils
Herbal Livelihoods and Career Paths
The Heart of Livelihoods: Business Ethics and Inspiration • Herbal Livelihoods • The Nitty-Gritty of Herbal Businesses • Introduction to Current Good Manufacturing Processes (cGMPs) and Product Labeling Requirements • Further Learning and Networking • Connecting to Your Life’s Purpose • Permaculture in Action: Joe Hollis’ Mountain Gardens • Amy Hamilton • Lorna Mauney-Brodek • Dr. James Duke • Asia Suler • History of Earthaven Ecovillage • Permaculture Principles with Chuck Marsh • Kauai Farmacy Gardens • Brandon Ruiz • Marc Williams • Ayo Ngozi Drayton • Leah Penniman • Meshell Orozco • Ellenie Cruz
Siting Reference Guide - Regional Profiles and Habitat Lists
Arid Lowland Climates with Monica Rude • Cold Temperate Climates with Deb Soule • Arid Mountainous Climates with Kathi Keville • Rocky Soils in Mid-Continental Climates with Steven Foster • Subtropical Climates with Emily Ruff • Mediterranean Climates with Richo Cech • Woodland Medicinals with Joe Hollis • Wetland Herbs • Shade Herbs • Arid Climate Herbs • Hot and Humid Climate Herbs • Temperate Moist Climates (Pacific Northwest/BC Climates) with Meshell Orozco
Holistic Business Practices
Sora Surya No: Claiming Your Authentic Voice • Maya Gaddie: Self-Care In Entrepreneurship: A Sustainable System for Resilience and Work-Life Balance; Diversifying Your Income Stream; Product-Based Businesses • Meghan Gemma: The Art of Authentic and Creative Copywriting • Catherine Campbell: Heart-Centered Marketing • Sonia Thompson: Inclusive Marketing • Sarah Benoit: Email Marketing; Social Media Marketing Strategy • Michelle Martello: Your Website Matters • McCayne Miller: Business Adulting • Michelle Warner: Networking That Pays
Herbal Propagation Chart • Planning Your World Germination Takeover Chart • Seeding Journal • Herb Harvesting and Medicine Making Chart • Beneficial Insects (Predators), Their Prey, Preferred Habitat, and Food Plants
Meet Our Featured Botanical Stars
Our program is infused with a plant-centered approach to herbal medicine. From anise hyssop to yellow dock, the course focuses on an all-star lineup of botanicals, primo for most temperate climate gardens. Note that most of the following herbs are the headliners of their very own video and profile.
Full Program Outline and Course Hours
You’ll have complete access to the entire 1000-hour program just as soon as you enroll. To keep you on track and engaged, you’ll receive monthly emails from us with an introduction to each module. However, you’re welcome
to move at your own pace through the material.
Enrollment is ongoing, and you can sign up any time.
Not quite sure which of our online courses is the best fit for you?
Take a peek at our Course Comparison Chart to get started on your herbal journey!
The Full-Color Printable Course Manual is 1,400-pages!
The electronic course manual is a whopping 1,400 pages long, filled to the brim with color photos, step-by-step tutorials, and herbal wisdom. It’s ready to be viewed on any screen or can be purchased as five spiral bound textbooks.
You’ll also get downloads of the audio from the videos and an interactive 1,400-page course manual. All the course materials are yours for life!
You’ll receive the course manual as downloadable PDFs so you can access the program content when you’re offline or print the material into beautiful books that you can hold in your hands. Many of our students enjoy reading the manual on a tablet or computer, whereas others prefer the printed textbooks. Because the material is in electronic form, you have lots of choices for how to interact with the course content. We designed the manual to be visually enticing and photographically accurate–visual learners and plant aficionados LOVE reading our course manuals!
Here’s what the electronic Course Manual contains – there’s so much material, it takes five spiral bound books to hold it all!
- Modules 1-17
- Herbal Glossary
- Herbs to Avoid in Pregnancy and Lactation
- Course Indexes:
- 1. Herbal Recipes Index (by name and category of recipe)
- 2. Recipes by Botanical (Herbs and Essential Oils) Index
- 3. Herbal Index by Common and Scientific Name
To get a feel for the lessons found in the course manual, please see our sample lesson on Passionflower.
We've had over 8,000 students from more than 50 countries enroll in our online herbal classes.
Here are just a few glowing testimonials from students in our Herbal Immersion Program...
"These beautiful courses consistently, yet gently, remind me that there is always so much more to learn when it comes to herbal medicine. I've been working with and growing herbs my whole life including four years working on an herb farm. I have a master's degree in Chinese medicine and have spent nine years in clinical practice and in herbal medicine teaching roles. Even with that depth of experience, I'm learning so much! You've all done a wonderful job putting these courses together! They are impeccably organized, offering information useful to both the absolute beginner and the seasoned herbalist. More than anything, on a personal level, I so deeply appreciate the amazing images and photography. That in and of itself is inspiring to go deeper into this medicine. These courses uniquely reinforce personal creativity, building relationships with the plants, and remembering the web of connection we are all a part of. The love, experience, professionalism, and effort you have all put into the creation of these programs really shines through. Thank you all for doing what you do!"
~ Melissa B., M.S., Menomonie, Wisconsin
Acupuncturist, Bodyworker, Herbalist
Online Herbal Immersion student
"If I could give this course 10 stars, I would. It is obvious that this school was years in the making: the content is incredible, the pictures and videos are amazing, and the activities are wonderful at turning the information into action. If you are interested at all in using or growing plants medicinally, or making your own herbal remedies, this school is a must!"
~ Dr. Lori R., Cleburne, Texas
Life Sciences Instructor
Medicine Making Course graduate and Herbal Immersion student
"I have truly learned a lot so far - even about the topics that I thought were going to be very simple, like preparing infusions and tinctures. I've found answers to some of my questions that I had a hard time clarifying before, like how do we know which herb is best in form of tincture, infusion or decoction and why. There's so much valuable and practical information. I also like the format of the course. First of all, it's beautifully done and visually pleasing, which keeps me excited. Second of all, I like that it can be viewed electronically or can be printed out and made into booklets. I personally prefer reading from books rather than from a screen whereas I am sure there are others who don't mind or prefer to view their lesson electronically, whether it's via their laptop, phone or iPad. I also love the videos. It makes it a lot easier to grasp and absorb the information on some topics like botany. I also love the spirit of the entire course: Juliet and the rest of the staff, and the students, the ability to connect with each other on the student group and learn from each other at all times. I know I can always count on the team for any questions! I haven't felt that way before in previous herbal studies programs."
~ Rashida G., Istanbul, Turkey
Stay-at-home mom and artist
Herbal Immersion student
This online course is self-paced and you can start as soon as you sign up!
Watch the videos and read the lessons on any device, at your own pace.
We offer a money-back guarantee!
If you're not satisfied, we'll refund your full tuition within 14 days of enrollment.
How does the program work?
- You’ll have complete access to the entire program as soon as you enroll. To keep you on track and engaged, you’ll receive monthly emails from us with an introduction to each module. However, you’re welcome to move at your own pace through the material. Enrollment is ongoing, and you can sign up any time.
- When you enroll, you’ll receive immediate access to these Immersion resources:
- A printable 1,400-page full-color course manual
- All videos and downloadable audio so you can listen on the go
- Supplies List & Recommended Reading List
- Access to our Student Forum
- Seasonal Herbal Starter Guides
- The format of the program
- You’ll be able to download all audio and text (and enjoy them while you’re offline), however, the videos can’t be downloaded and will not be provided on DVD, so you must have a reliable internet connection to view them.
- The videos can be viewed on mobile devices with a wireless connection.
- Please see the full course outline for more details.
The online program includes:
- Beautiful and engaging video instruction, primarily filmed in the garden and field with the stars of the program—the plants themselves
- Over 100 herbal recipes, ranging from medicinal preparations, wild foods dishes, natural body care products, and culinary herbal concoctions
- 161 videos and 185 lessons, clearly organized into 23 modules
- A variety of instructors comprised of herbal teachers, writers, and gardeners
- A downloadable and printable 1,400-page course manual (PDF) that contains extensive written materials and instructional photographs by Juliet Blankespoor. The course manual can be viewed electronically or can be printed into two large binders and a separate Medicine Making Manual. You can view the course manual offline so you can learn wherever and however works best for you
- Downloadable audio files so you can listen on the go
- Lifetime access to the course materials, including all indexed videos, written text and archived newsletters (any new videos and materials we add to the program will also be yours)
- Review worksheets, experiential projects, and quizzes at the end of each module.
- Access to a team of experienced herbalists and herb growers for questions and guidance for two and a half years after enrollment
- Access to our student forum (currently hosted on Facebook) where you can share triumphs, troubleshooting, and more with a lively community of herbal enthusiasts
- Exclusive quarterly newsletters with herbal news and resources and seasonal gardening tips
- A 1000-hour certificate of completion, upon completing all the required coursework within two and a half years
The online program also includes these bonuses:
- 10% discount off bulk herbs and medicine making supplies at Mountain Rose Herbs’ online store throughout the period of your enrollment
- Complimentary student membership for one year in the United Plant Savers, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving rare medicinal herbs
- One-time 10% discount on the book ‘Foraging and Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook,’ by Dina Falconi for one month after enrollment
These bonuses are not included in the cost of tuition and are subject to change.
The course materials are yours for life!
You’ll have ongoing access to all the videos, online written materials, and exclusive archived newsletters indefinitely. By joining our learning community, you’ll not only have access to an amazing educational experience—you’ll also be gaining entry into a trusted source of herbal information to revisit year after year. It’s like a perpetual library card to a whole world of herbal knowledge. As a bonus, you’ll also have access to all fresh material – videos and newsletters – that we’ll be adding to the course over the years.
Please note that two and a half years (30 months) after enrolling, instructors will no longer be available for questions or guidance. However, the connections you foster with other herbal enthusiasts in our private forum will help support you through a lifetime of herbal learning.
Here’s what you’ll be able to do after completing the program:
- Build drop-dead gorgeous herb gardens, frequented by colorful pollinators and covetous neighbors
- Create your own medicine chest, filled with high-quality botanical remedies, made from homegrown herbs and medicinal wild weeds
- Start an herbal nursery, small herb farm, or herbal CSA
- Use tonic herbs to promote long-term health and help prevent illness
- Connect with plants, the earth, and the cycles of life on a deeper level
- Address common health complaints with your own teas, tinctures, salves and oils
- Teach your children to prepare their own herbal remedies – laying the foundation for self-care and knowledge of natural medicine
- Indulge yourself with luscious body butters, creams and scrubs
- Create value-added medicinal or culinary products for your farm
- Lavish your loved ones with beautiful and tasty herbal-based gifts
- Master herbal actions so you can better match herbs with specific conditions
- Share the abundant herbal harvest with your friends, family and neighbors
- Discover your own herbal allies: treasured plant friends you can call on for years
- Develop a homespun herbal products business
- Gather common wild foods and prepare them into delectable meals
- Build a forest garden with endangered medicinal plants
- Grow perennial vegetables, culinary herbs and edible flowers as a hobby or small specialty business
Who’s this course for?
Anyone who wants to learn more about growing and using medicinal plants, including:
- Herbal enthusiasts and herbalists who want to go deeper with botanical medicine
- Herbal entrepreneurs who wish to start an herbal products line or an herb nursery or seed business
- Parents who wish to learn about simple natural remedies that can easily be grown and prepared at home
- Botanical moguls who wish to grow a sustainable herbal products business based on medicine sourced from their own fields and gardens
- Vegetable farmers who want to diversify their crops and create value-added culinary and medicinal products
- Permaculturists who wish to further explore the realm of healing plants and wild foods
- Community garden organizers and instructors who want to bring the joy of herbs into their communities
- Homesteaders and vegetable growers interested in medicinal sovereignty and long-term community resilience and self-sufficiency
- Gardeners who wish to incorporate more useful plants into the home landscape
- Homeschooling families with older children and teenagers who are excited to explore medicinal garden plants together (see FAQs for details)
- Herbalists trained in the medicinal use of herbs, who want to know the herbs on a more intimate level, especially how to grow them
Do you find yourself yearning for a deeper connection to the herbs you use medicinally?
We believe direct connection with healing plants is THE best way to learn about their medicine. When we fully know an herb, it virtually comes to life, blooming in our mind and heart. Suddenly, it’s easier to remember its medicinal qualities, as we now recognize the herb as a distinct personality. That’s why our program is infused with a plant-centered approach to herbal medicine.
You might be asking yourself, what exactly does that mean?
It means the plants are the stars of the show.
In this course we’ll introduce you to each of our botanical starlets on an intimate level. We know good medicine begins with good relationships, so a deep-rooted connection to healing plants is at the heart of our teachings.
Have you been studying herbs for a while, but just aren’t sure how to tie everything together?
Or maybe you’re already an experienced herbalist, but feel like something’s missing from your repertoire…
Whether you’re just beginning to dabble in herbalism or you’re ready to take your craft to the next level, we’ve got something special to share with you. Our students range from complete newbies to seasoned herbalists, with established gardens and businesses. One of the beauties of online learning is the community support and mentorship, and the ability to network with herb lovers from around the globe.
Not quite sure which of our online courses is the best fit for you?
If you’re not fully satisfied, we’ll give you a complete refund within 14 days of enrolling.
Tour our FAQs
Most of us love learning about herbs in-person but sometimes this just isn’t practical for those with busy schedules and full lives. We crafted our engaging videos to be as close to live instruction as you can get, with a front row seat in the garden –the plants are our esteemed co-stars. Throughout the course, Juliet, along with her trusted team of core instructors, demonstrates the real ins and outs of cultivation, propagation, harvesting, and medicinal use. This is NOT your typical instructor sitting in a classroom with a blackboard. We’ll be elbow deep in soil, head high in garden bushes, and up close and seriously personal with a huge variety of plants. We love how the medium of film allows us to dynamically showcase the plants, visiting them in all their growth cycles and zooming in close for the kind of botanical detail only possible with a hand lens, or high powered macro camera.
Online learning is a convenient way to learn – you can take your class with you wherever you go and complete the lessons at your own pace, when it works for YOU. Easy access to our team of moderators ensures you get the support you need — in most cases, your questions will be answered within 24 hours. And you will be able to connect with a rich community of herb gardeners from around the world!
Our multimedia program is designed for you, whether you learn best from reading, writing or watching. With each module you’ll be provided with additional hands-on assignments to further engage all your senses and creativity. We truly believe you can learn about growing herbs through video and clearly written instruction, or else we wouldn’t have created this program!
You’ll have ongoing access to all the videos, online written materials, and exclusive archived newsletters indefinitely. By joining our learning community, you’ll not only have access to an amazing educational experience—you’ll also be gaining entry into a trusted source of herbal information to revisit year after year. It’s like a perpetual library card to a whole world of herbal knowledge. As a bonus, you’ll also have access to all fresh material – videos and newsletters – that we’ll be adding to the course over the years. Please note that two and a half years (30 months) after enrolling, instructors will no longer be available for questions or guidance, but the connections you foster with other herbal enthusiasts will help support you through a lifetime of herbal learning.
Upon completing our program you will be able to:
- Treat common ailments with homegrown medicines
- Know over 40 easy-to-grow medicinal herbs, including their propagation, cultivation, harvesting, preparation and therapeutic uses
- Create your own herb garden from scratch; starting with inspiration and vision, and branching out into layout and installation
- Prepare tinctures, infused oils, salves, compresses, poultices, syrups, herbal honeys, flower essences, infusions and decoctions
- Concoct herbal culinary delicacies, such as compound butters, finishing salts, pestos, meads, and infused oils and vinegars
- Whip up sumptuous natural body-care products, such as body butters, face creams, bath salts, and aromatherapy serums
- Identify 11 of the most common wild garden weeds, along with their edible and medicinal uses
- Understand the basic principles of aromatherapy and hydrotherapy, and their applications in the home
- Harvest and dry your own herbs
- Know basic botanical terms and how they apply to plant identification and gardening
- Propagate plants – through germination, division, cuttings and layering
- Build healthy soil organically, with amendments, compost and soil microbes
- Be familiar with the characteristics of the 5 most common plant families
- Start your own herbal business focusing on locally-grown plants
When you enroll, you’ll receive login information to enter the student portal, where you will access all the course materials. Our welcome video will walk you through all the nitty gritty details, including how the website works and the layout for the entire program. Each module is comprised of 6-15 individual lessons, which you will complete in sequential order.
You’ll receive immediate access to these Immersion resources:
- The entire program—all web lessons and the printable 1,400-page course manual
- Supplies List & Recommended Reading List
- Access to our Student Forum
- Access to our team of herbal experts for guidance and questions about course material
- Seasonal Herbal Starter Guides
You’ll have complete access to the entire program as soon as you enroll. To keep you on track and engaged, you’ll receive monthly emails from us with an introduction to each module. However, you’re welcome to move at your own pace through the material.
The lessons are a combination of video and written materials, which you can read online or in hard copy (via a printable 1,400-page PDF that comes with the course). You may print the manual on your own, or order it from our outside printing partner as an affordable five book set. After you have explored all the materials and completed the lessons in each module, we offer self-guided review worksheets, experiential projects and further media resources. These exercises are designed to help you integrate and review the information.
When you’re ready, you’ll take the quiz at the end of the module. If you’re working towards a certificate, you’ll need to reach a grade of 80% or higher to progress to the next module. You can take the quiz over, if needed. If you have severe test anxiety or a learning difference, please contact us— we will create another form of assessment that feels comfortable to you! We mean it; we welcome and support all types of learners.
Every few months you’ll receive an exclusive newsletter, peppered with seasonal gardening tips, recipes, book reviews and updates on herbal happenings and news. The newsletters are printable and archived.
We offer need-based scholarships to our online courses that are selected around our mission of promoting diversity and inclusivity in the field of herbal medicine. They are designed for herbal enthusiasts from underserved populations who face barriers due to our unbalanced social structure – parameters such as race, class, sexual orientation, and gender identification/non-identification will be considered. Furthermore, we seek applicants who plan to use their education to provide further outreach in underserved areas. To receive a notification when we reopen the application period, sign up for our newsletter. See our partnerships page for more details.
Juliet Blankespoor is the green mastermind behind the program, and is the primary instructor and choreographer. She has been growing medicinal herbs for twenty-five years, and has been involved with many aspects of herbal medicine, including owning an herb nursery and tincture business, and directing an herbal school. Her extensive knowledge of plant propagation and cultivation comes from years of growing medicinals for her tincture business and nursery, and gardening with herbs in many different climates.
Other core instructors include Joe Hollis, 7Song, Lorna Mauney-Brodek, Asia Suler and Becky Beyer. See our full line-up of instructors and contributors.
We begin at the ground level, and build from there. You don’t need any prior experience or knowledge. We’re here to answer your questions and lead the way in a clear and easy format.
Even if your growing area is limited, you can still grow plenty of medicinal herbs! We offer many pointers and techniques for maximizing yields in smaller gardens, such as utilizing vertical space, polycultures, repeat harvesting, and container gardening. If you have at least 250 square feet of garden space available for herbs, you can still grow quite a bit of medicine.
Even experienced gardeners and herbalists will benefit from our course, as we offer detailed instruction on many topics. Some of the material will be review but we believe that most people will gain valuable insights, especially in the area of medical herbalism. Look over the curriculum and list of plants covered to help you decide if the program is right for you. Finally, we do offer a guarantee – (please see the details above). We want our students to be completely satisfied with their learning!
Though a lot of the information in the course will be applicable—propagation and medicinal usage especially, the program itself is more geared toward the gardener than the farmer. We don’t offer specifics on farming, such as market prices, yield per acre, or special mechanized equipment and the program will not cover what you would need to know to get started with a large-scale operation, but you can definitely use the knowledge to help fill in the gaps.
We designed the course for a variety of growing climates throughout the temperate world. The program will be useful for most areas of North America, Europe, Southern Australia and Asian mild-temperate regions. It is specifically geared for USDA Growing Zones 4-9. Check here to see what zone you live in. Throughout the videos, we give growing tips for different climates. We also have a whole module with regional features from various bioregions to give you a good idea of the optimal medicinal plants for your climate. Please consult the list of plants covered here. If you’re still not sure if you can grow the plants we feature, consult local growers, herbalists, master gardeners or extension agents and ask if those plants can easily be grown in your area. If you’re still not clear, drop us a line, and we’ll give you an honest opinion about whether you will benefit from this course.
As long as you can grow the plants we cover (see the questions above and below), and have a solid command of the English language, you are welcome to take the course. About 10% of our students reside outside of the United States. We provide metric conversions for all recipe and cultivation measurements. Please note that businesses who have offered perks to our students may not be able to extend those offers to international students.
There are many ways you can approach the program. If you’re enrolling purely for your personal needs and aren’t working towards a certificate, you take all the time in the world. It’s your program to do as you like, but we do recommend following the sequential format, as it builds up from the foundation, with roots, branches, twigs, etc. You can binge watch on the weekends or slowly sip it in on Tuesday nights.
If you’re working towards the certificate you have a timeframe of two and a half years (30 months) from your time of enrollment to complete the program. There are several reasons you may want to aim for a certificate. The dangling carrot can help you keep your eyes on the prize, so to speak. Motivation is even more important with distance learning, where it’s easy enough to fall off the wagon. Gaining a certificate can also give a strong feeling of personal satisfaction – a milestone after hard work and dedication. Finally, the certificate may help to serve your career goals.
The bottom line is that we want the program to work for you and your life, however that looks. Each of you will have a different approach, tailored to your needs. Some of you will move through the materials quicker, while some of you will gain the same benefit, but spread your learning out over a longer time period. But remember, however you engage with the program, you will get out as much as you put in!
This is a 1000 hour program, and we estimate you can complete the course in 18 to 30 months, depending on your pace. There are 17 modules, each of which contains approximately 2-5 hours of video instruction and 6 to 15 lessons. Additionally, you will want to plan time for reading assignments, worksheets, experiential projects, and studying for quizzes. Each module will take about 25-40 hours of your time, depending on its scope, your pace, and depth of work. To earn a certificate for this program in the allotted 30 months, you’ll want to budget about 30 hours a month, or 8-10 hours a week.
As stated above, you have 30 months to complete the program and gain a certificate. After this time, you’ll have ongoing access to all the materials, but our team of herbal moderators won’t be available, and it will no longer be possible to gain a certificate. Ultimately, we created this deadline because we believe it will help motivate you to finish the program!
Yes! Enrollment is ongoing so you can sign up and begin any time. You’ll receive an email every month from us—with an introduction to each module—to help keep you motivated and on track.
After satisfactorily completing all the assignments and quizzes, and submitting your experiential projects for review (within 30 months of enrolling and after paying your tuition in full), you’ll receive a beautiful certificate of completion. The certificate will state that you completed 1000 hours of coursework and list the subjects covered. (You can find the subjects and the breakdown of hours on the course outline.) Currently, there is no certifying or licensing agency in the United States for herbalists, so there is no such thing as a certified or licensed herbalist, despite what some schools advertise. However, many people find that a certificate represents the hours and dedication poured into one’s herbal studies. Additionally, a certificate offers a sense of pride for completing the program. In any case, you will learn valuable skills that we believe are essential for self-care and the foundation for many plant-based herbal livelihoods. We want to be clear that we are not an accredited University or vocational school. We are a school of traditional herbal medicine. Read more about herbal certification here.
Our program lays a solid foundation in clinical herbal medicine, but it doesn’t fully train you in all the necessary subjects to begin a practice, such as anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, constitutional assessment, and drug/herb contraindications. The Herbal Immersion can serve as the first step on this career path, followed by a clinical program. Or it can be taken concurrently with a clinical program to round out your education with more botany, herb cultivation and medicine making. However, the Herbal Immersion does equip you with many valuable skills. You can find a list of these after the section on this page: Here’s what you’ll be able to do after completing the program.
You’ll have the option to be part of a private student forum where you can share triumphs, troubleshooting, and inspirations with a lively community of herbal enthusiasts. Currently, this forum is held on Facebook. If you have questions for our staff, you can look through our FAQs at the end of each lesson, as well as our general Q & A board. If your question is still unanswered, you’ll send it to us via an e-mail form. In most cases, your questions will be answered by one of our moderators within 24 hours (Monday through Friday). You’ll be able to ask us questions and seek guidance for two and half years after enrolling. After this time, you’ll still be able to connect with other students via our student forum but the moderators won’t be available for questions. Since you’ll still have access to the course after two and a half years, you’ll have continued access to our growing bank of common Q & A’s. (Our herbal team isn’t available by phone or private e-mail, except to provide assistance with technical issues or problems related to accessing the course. Please note that we can’t answer questions related to personal health due to legal and time constraints.)
We don’t believe you would benefit, as half of the program focuses on growing herbs. We want this course to serve the educational goals of our students, and so we’ll candidly let you know another course would better serve your needs. Our Medicine Making program doesn’t cover cultivation, and touches on the therapeutic use of herbs.
Yes, we offer a $200 discount on tuition for each student when 3 or more students enroll together. This discount cannot be combined with other offers, discounts, or during a sale. Please contact us for the discount code info: christine (at) chestnutherbs (dot) com. See the question below for details about enrolling with children under 18.
We have worked hard to offer this program at an affordable price and ask that you respect all the time, effort and trust put into its creation by keeping your login information to yourself. When you sign up for this course you enter a pact of community trust along with every one of the students and teachers. It is, of course, always okay to share your own insights and inspirations with friends and family, but building a healing community begins with respectfully supporting one another in our livelihoods. So we thank you in advance for helping us to build a stronger, more trusting community by keeping your login information to yourself.
However, we do encourage sharing your course materials with your children ages 13 and up. We want to nurture the next generation of plant lovers and gardeners. This is a great program for homeschooling families with older children and teenagers interested in plants. If you wish to share the course with your children, be sure to watch our sample videos and lesson plans to gauge the level of instruction before enrolling. Please contact the school for more details if you wish to use this program for your homeschooling curriculum.
When you enroll, you will receive a list of the kitchen supplies used in most of the recipes and garden tools you will need for cultivating your herb garden. These include items you may already own, such as assorted Mason jars, an electronic scale, stainless steel funnels and labels, pruners, shovels, garden gloves, etc. How much you spend on ingredients and materials will differ, depending on how prolific you are with the recipes and what tools and ingredients you already own. We estimate you might spend anywhere from $200 to $600 depending on these factors. You’ll also enjoy discounts from some of our favorite suppliers for the period of your enrollment—you’ll have access to these discount codes as soon as you enroll. Note that you have two and a half years to ask us questions, but the course is yours for life, so you can spread out your purchases to suit your budget.
Hands-down, the biggest difference is our plant-centered approach and emphasis on cultivation and homemade medicines. We practice and teach a combination of bioregional and DIY herbal medicine. In addition, we provide a wealth of detailed, hands-on video instruction that is not found in other programs.
We’re in the process of adding closed captioning to our course videos! As of 8/31/2020, the opening lessons for our programs are already equipped with closed captioning in English, and every other lesson will soon follow. We hope to add captions in other languages in the coming months!
The primary mission of the school is to educate about holistic healing, which includes discussing socioeconomic factors that affect health, safety, and freedom. A healer cannot truly practice holistic herbalism without understanding and addressing the stress, violence, and discrimination that marginalized people face on a daily level. If a person isn’t safe–or faces discrimination that affects their access to basic necessities and optimal health care–because of their race, religion, age, ability, sexual orientation, or gender identity, then their health is affected. It’s that simple.
The discrimination that affects human rights is a universal concern–transcending political affiliation. We believe these topics are central to any productive conversation regarding holistic herbalism (which takes into account how societal influences affect health, safety, basic human rights, and well-being).
We are actively working on implementing and expanding the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism plan we started in 2018 with the goal of creating a more welcoming and supportive environment for current and new students. The plan includes lessons to educate students who work/will work in healthcare fields about the identities and struggles of communities/peoples they may not belong to. We are also including discussions about health care inequities due to marginalization and bias. Additionally, we’re updating the Herbal Immersion Program with lessons from teachers of color, and we are slowly building a more diverse student body.